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No. 369.



July 23, 1849. Gentlemen :-In the Circular from this Office of the 31st August, 1830, the following regulation is prescribed respecting the changes of entry which may be ordered pursuant to the acts of Congress of 3d March, 1819, (No. 11,) and 24th May, 1824, (No. 14, viz :

- The Receiver will take a receipt from the purchaser for the purchasemoney of the tract erroneously entered, as if the same was refunded, which receipt will be a voucher to the Receiver's credit, to be introduced into the proper monthly and quarterly accounts," &c.

These acts, it will be observed, do not authorize an actual repayment, which, in fact, it is obvious, was never contemplated by the regulation itself, but merely require the application and transfer of the money which was paid on the wrong entry to the right one; the rule having been adopted as one of official convenience.

By a recent act of Congress, approved 3d March, 1849, all moneys receivable from customs, and from all other sources, are required to be paid immediately into the treasury "without abatement or reduction," &c.

To avoid any apparent or real incompatibility in our practice with that act, the aforesaid regulation is hereby rescinded ; and hereafter, when a change of entry is ordered, pursuant to the acts aforesaid, the Register will issue, as in ordinary cases, his certificate of purchase, only adding to it a marginal note showing the transfer of the payment from the erroneous entry to the new one, referring to the date and No. of the former, the date of the authority for the transfer, and making proper references to the proceedings on the books and plats of your office.

No receipt in such a case is to be issued by the Receiver, unless the area of the new entry is greater than the old one; when, of course, such excess must be paid for, and receipts issued for the same, the Receiver debiting himself accordingly.

The new entries must always be reported in the monthly returns, with an explanatory note showing, in each case, when fully paid for by the transfer of the payment from the old entry, and also when there is a further payment on account of excess; and only the excess paid for is to be carried into the Receiver's quarterly account.

Such changed entries must always appear at the foot of your monthly returns as addenda, and must not affect the aggregate sales, either as to quantity or purchase-money, further than the excess in areas, and purchasemoney for the same.

In any case which may be reported to this Office for repayment, and in which the Department may decide that the party is legally entitled, such repayment will be made by warrant from the treasury.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BUTTERFIELD, Commissioner. Register and Receiver.

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parison is to be made by the Register and Receiver of the same land office (or under the superintendence of one or both of them) of their respective abstracts, with the receipts, certificates of purchase, and the entries on the maps and tract-books, and of all these documents with each other, that all errors therein may be immediately detected and corrected, and that in all respects they may conform to the circular letter of instructions issued from this Office under date of the 25th May last.

Second. That the fact of such examination and comparison having been made. is to be certified on each abstract, by the Register and Receiver, or either of them, is the case may be.

No. 370.

Circular instructions to Collectors and Surveyors acting as Collectors of the Customs and Receivers of Public Moneys.


September 10, 1849. The following additional instructions are rendered necessary in view of the provisions of the Act of 3d March, 1849, entitled “An act requiring all moneys receivable from customs and from all other sources to be paid immediately into the Treasury, without abatement or deduction, and for other purposes :"*

First. You are hereby directed to close up your accounts to the 30th June, 1849, leaving all difficulties or suspended items connected therewith to be hereafter finally adjusted, precisely as if you were out of office and another person had succeeded you on that day, or as though it was the close of a series of accounts under an old bond; the object in view being to cause a perfect and entire settlement of all accounts previous to the commencement of operations under the above act.

Second. Inasmuch as before this will have reached you (in the absence of instructions to the contrary) you will have introduced the balance due on the 30th June, 1849, into your weekly and monthly accounts, to carry into future effect the above instructions, it will be necessary for you, on the 30th September, 1849, to render two accounts, in one of which you will credit the United States with the balance admitted to be due on the 30th June, 1849, and show on the debit side any payments you may have made thereof into the Treasury on account of said balance, or as commissions, expenses of depositing, or on account of expenses incurred prior to 30th June, 1849, which are properly payable out of the aforesaid balance, and chargcable thereto; the other account will show, simply, your gross receipts since the 30th June, 1849, and the payments into the Treasury on account thereof. These accounts are independent of that as disbursing agent, which must be rendered as heretofore instructed.


Secretary of the Treasury.

No. 371.



November 1, 1849. Gentlemen :-It has been recently intimated to this Office that clerks employed by some of the District Land Officers act as the agents for persons having Land Warrants to locate, and receive fees for securing desirable tracts of land, which otherwise could not be obtained with such warrants.

You will please make inquiry of the clerk or clerks employed in your

* The first section of the act referred to, provides, “That from and after the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty-nine, the gross amount of all duties received from customs, from the sales of public lands, and from all miscellaneous sources, for the use of the United States, shall be paid by the officer or agent receiving the same, into the Treasury of the United States, at as early a day as practicable, without any abatement or deduction on account of salary, fees, costs, charges, expenses, or claim of any description whatever: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to alter the existing laws regulating the collection of the revenues of the Post Office Department.”

office, if any there be ; and if such practice is found to exist, it must be immediately arrested by their removal, as this Office, in all cases, will hold Registers and Receivers responsible for the illegal acts of their agents.

In future, when a Register or Receiver finds it necessary to employ a clerk, the clerk will be required to take and subscribe an oath according to the annexed form, which oath will be recorded and filed in the office in which he may be employed.

The fee of fifty cents for all your necessary services in entering the location of a warrant for 160 acres, or twenty-five cents for a 40 acre warrant, giving the usual certificate of location, filling blank forms, and making the necessary entries, &c., is all the law allows you to receive. No fees are chargeable by law where the location is made by or for the use of the volunteer or soldier to whom the warrant may have issued.

Should you administer the required oath to a person applying to locate a warrant, no additional fee can be received therefor, as the act approved June 12, 1840, entitled “ An act to authorize Registers and Receivers to administer oaths,” &c., (No. 41,) prohibits the reception of a fee for such service.

Enclosed are circulars of October 18, 1843, and November 10, 1817,* on the subject.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BUTTERFIELD, Commissioner. Register and Receiver.

(Form of oath to be in Manuscript.)

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I, A. B., having been employed by C. D., Register or Receiver of the Land Office at

as clerk in his office, do solemnly swear that I will truly and faithfully execute the trust committed to me according to law and the instructions of the Department.

A. B. Subscribed and sworn to, before me,

this 18—, J. P. (Or other person authorized to administer an oath.)

day of

A. D.

No. 372.



January 20, 1851. Gentlemen :- All official returns, communications, and letters on business of every kind, sent to the General Land Office, will be folded in the form of this circular, and endorsed in a plain, neat hand-writing, with the name of the office; the place from whence sent; the date of transmission; a brief statement of the contents; and signed by the writer with his official title; as near as may be, in the manner indicated by the form endorsed hereon ; and then enclosed in a separate wrapper, carefully sealed up, and addressed to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, at Washington City.

When bounty land warrants or other documents are transmitted, they should be in one or more separate packages, accompanied by the abstract, and a letter stating the number of packages, and endorsed on the back, Register, &c., transmits Military Land Warrants No.


* See note, p. 315.


inclusive, located during the month of 18–, under Act of

18—, with abstract. All other returns will be transmitted as heretofore. The official inconvenience found to result from the practice of embracing more than one subject in a letter, induces me to direct, that in every case hereafter, you will make each subject the contents of a separate letter.

The great increase in the business of the office absolutely requires a strict observance of this rule in future, as it greatly promotes the convenience of the Department, and insures more prompt attention to the communications thus folded and endorsed. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BUTTERFIELD, Commissioner. Register and Receiver at


Land Office

at -, January 20, 1851. A. B., Receiver, transmits monthly return and quarterly account, viz : Package No. 1, Monthly return for

Package No. 2, Receipts. Package No. 3, Quarterly Account for 1st quarter. A B., Receiver.

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No. 373.



August 14, 1851. Gentlemen :-In order that the business of this Office may be carried on promptly and energetically, it is absolutely necessary that the District Land Offices should make their returns immediately after the close of each month and quarter. To do this, it is only necessary that the operations of each day should be entered at the close of it in the monthly and quarterly returns; and thus, within two or three days after the close of the month or quarter, those returns can be mailed to this Office.

It is hoped and expected that these instructions, the receipt of which you will please acknowledge, will be strictly attended to in all cases, as the prompt discharge of the business in this Office imperatively demands it.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. BUTTERFIELD, Commissioner, . Register and Receiver at

No. 374. Circular to the Registers and Receivers of the United States Land Offices.


September 14, 1852. Gentlemen :-By the Circular of Instructions from this Office of the 2d April last, Receivers are instructed to charge themselves in their quar


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terly accounts, with the amount of fees received by both themselves and the Registers, and credit themselves with the per centage, to which both are entitled for fees and sales not exceeding twenty-five hundred dollars to each per annum, the amount of per centage allowed by law. Any amount beyond that sum, either for fees or per centage, will go into the Treasury.

As the fees to which you are entitled are to be paid at the time of making the location, it follows that, if the warrants are retained in your office until the expiration of forty days after the location, as required by the Circulars of Instructions issued under the acts of 1847 and 1850, it will be impracticable for this Office to adjust your accounts as promptly as the public interest requires. The Secretary of the Interior has, therefore, directed that all warrants, whether found to interfere with “Declaratory Statements” or not, shall be returned at the expiration of the month during which they were located. Should they subsequently be found to interfere, they will be returned to you for re-location, or that the consent of the settler may be obtained, where that has not been done.

Receivers will make the charges and credits in their quarterly accounts as Disbursing Agents, but will make no deposit of any excess over the maximum allowed by law, unless specially directed so to do.

In the circular from this Office of the 23d March last, it is stated, that by the terms of the Act of 22d March, 1852, the fees allowed are $1 for locating 40 acre warrants; $2 for an 80; $4 for an 160. The act says that you shall be allowed the same compensation or per centage to which you are entitled by law for sales of the public lands for cash at the rate of $1 25 per acre. Each of you will, therefore, charge one per cent. only upon the value of the land actually located at $1 25 per acrc; the direction in the circular being designed chiefly as public notice to the owners of warrants of the amount they would have to remit to you, and which is correct in all cases where fractions were not applied for.

JOHN WILSON, Acting Commissioner.

No. 375.



November 7, 1853. A misunderstanding having evidently arisen at the local land offices, in regard to the purport or design of that portion of the Circular of the 20th of Julyt last, having relation to the rendition of the returns to this Office, which is imposing on the land officers and this Office unnecessary labor, and leading to a useless waste of stationery, the following directions are deemed necessary :

Instead of transmitting all other returns than Bounty Land Warrants under the Acts of 1847, 1850, and 1852, separately from each other, with a letter accompanying each item or description of returns, as has been done by a number of the local land officers under the fourth paragraph of Circular of 20th July, 1853, it was designed that “all other returns" referred to should be transmitted separately from the Military returns, and with a letter referring to them and giving a description of such returns and number of packages, &c., where they were sufficiently heavy to render it necessary to divide them into two or more packages—that is, the Register should

* See No. 383.

† See note, p. 315.

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